LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA) – A Lakeland toddler was killed in a tragic accident at his home when a dresser fell on him.
Polk County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a call about an unresponsive two-year-old boy around 8 a.m. on Sunday.
Investigators said Conner Delong was found by his mother, Meghan Delong, that morning underneath a dresser that had fallen over. She had checked on him and his brother in their shared bedroom at 11:30 the night before and both were sleeping in their cribs.
Conner’s mother said she heard his voice five minutes before entering his room, where she found him unresponsive underneath the fallen dresser.
Meghan Delong told deputies that during the past week, Conner had been taking the baby monitor off the top of the dresser, so she had moved it to the windowsill behind the dresser. She said her son often got out of his crib on his own.
Investigators believe that on Sunday morning, Conner got out of his crib on his own and was trying to climb up on the dresser to get to the baby monitor on the windowsill behind it, when the dresser fell on him.
“It appears he crawled out of his crib, which he was known to do, and reached for something beyond the dresser, and unfortunately, it fell over on him. His mom found him underneath it, got him out and called 911. But, we were unable to revive him,” Polk County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Carrie Horstman said.
The sheriff’s office said an autopsy was conducted and the cause of Conner’s death was determined to be mechanical asphyxia. His death was ruled accidental.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, one child dies every two weeks from furniture tipping over in the home.
Daniel Leeds, with Full House BabyProofing, said it’s a serious problem that does not cost much to prevent.
“What children will do is pull out a couple of drawers, shift the weight of the dresser forward, and then all it takes is a couple fingers and I can pull the whole thing over,” Leeds demonstrated.
From dressers to televisions, he said parents should have everything strapped down or mounted.
“It isn’t very expensive. A pack of two straps will probably cost around $10 and you can get that done,” Leeds said.
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